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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Colton Harris-Moore captured in Bahamas

The teenage criminal who left Washington to find new stomping ground has finally — finally! — been nabbed by authorities:
"Barefoot Bandit" Colton Harris-Moore's well-publicized crime spree — two years in the United States and a week in the Bahamas — ended Sunday when he was arrested trying to escape Bahamian police in a stolen boat.

"It was like something you might see in the movies," said Ellison Greenslade, commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Harris-Moore was arrested about 2 a.m. near Harbour Island following a brief high-speed boat chase. The capture unfolded at the Romora Bay Resort and Marina, where the suspect, carrying a gun and knapsack, told security director Kenneth Strachan, "They're going to kill me," according to CNN.

Harris-Moore, who had arrived on a 15-foot skiff, tried to steal a boat to leave the island, but ran aground and police shot out the engines, CNN reported.

"At one point, the boy threw his computer in the water and put a gun to his head. He was going to kill himself. Police talked him out of it," resort manager Anne Ward told CNN.
Now he's in custody and will hopefully stay there... for a long time.

I know from past conversations with folks who live on Whidbey, Camano, and the San Juans that Harris-Moore's capture will come as a great relief to the people of Washington's island communities. Harris-Moore was more than a nuisance; he was a highly effective criminal who caused a significant amount of property damage. He needs to be made to repay his victims to the maximum extent possible.

There is nothing heroic or chivalrous about what he did, and it's sad that some people are celebrating his success in eluding justice for so long. Our sympathy should be reserved for the people whose houses were broken into. And the people whose cars, boats, or planes were stolen. Home invasion and burglary are felonies.

It's likely, given that Harris-Moore committed crimes in so many different jurisdictions, that he will have to be charged in federal court where all of the cases against him can be consolidated. It'll be some prosecution. Certainly the governments of Island and San Juan counties will be involved, as will the FBI.

We look forward to the day when Harris-Moore is forced to appear in court and account for his crimes. He'll probably spend what should have been one of the best parts of his life in prison because of his poor choices and bad judgment. Too bad.


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